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Posted at: Apr 26, 2019, 8:48 AM; last updated: Apr 26, 2019, 8:48 AM (IST)

Show of strength over as Bittu files papers

Traffic snarls during road show leave commuters & students stranded for two hours in the city

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, April 25

A road show with about 10,000 persons, tents, flags, banners of the Congress and Bittu along the Ferozepur road, AC tractor-trailers, huge cavalcade of four-wheelers, auto-rickshaws and motorcycles accompanied by music band turned into a show of strength when Ravneet Singh Bittu filed his nomination papers for the upcoming poll at the Mini -Secretariat here today.

En-route, Bittu was accompanied with Food and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Punjab AICC in-charge Asha Kumari, local Congress MLAs, leaders, party workers and a large number of supporters.

Starting from near Sidhwan Canal upto Bharat Nagar Chowk, both sides of the Ferozepur road were totally jammed and regular traffic had to be diverted by the police at around 1 pm.

Supporters showered rose petals on Bittu and other Congress leaders when the cavalcade moved towards the Mini-Secretariat for filing nomination.

Residents and schoolchildren were stuck in the traffic jam for one to two hours due to the road show taken out in support of the Congress candidate today.

As his own car too was stuck in the traffic jam, Bittu got down from his Ambassador and walked upto the Mini-Secretariat to file his papers. Supporters raised slogans in favour of their leader while patriotic songs were played by the DJs.

Commenting on the massive gathering, Parminder Mehta, who joined the Congress recently after leaving the BJP, said, “If volunteers and supporters show such enthusiasm, it means all the support is there for the Congress.”

At the same time, commuters had to face inconvenience due to traffic diversions. “This shows the power of the ruling government here. You file nominations, but not at the sake of others inconvenience,” rued a commuter.

Meanwhile, eyebrows were raised over permission taken by the authorities concerned to hold such a massive road show. The ARO concerned, Jeevanjot Kaur, SDM, Nawahshahr, however, said for the entire show permission was sought by the candidate and the party.

“Our video surveillance teams were there, who recorded everything,” she said. When asked how much expenditure was incurred on the road show, the ARO said that it would be accessed by tomorrow.

Later, interacting with mediapersons, the Punjab AICC in charge, Asha Kumari, said keeping in view the public response it was clear that the Congress would completely sweep the poll in Punjab and Chandigarh. She said the Modi government had failed on all fronts. The Congress would form government after elections at the Centre, she added.

Earlier, during his tenure in the parliament and the constituency Bittu gave an excellent performance, she said. Now, people were looking enthusiastic to elect him for the third term, she added.

While addressing mediapersons, Bittu said with the cooperation of people he was able to perform well in the parliament and the constituency and brought many project for Ludhiana. He said the main contest would be with the SAD-BJP and Bains was not a threat. While reminding Bains for earlier daring to fight election against Sukhbir Badal, Bittu told him to stand by his words. Bittu claimed that he always stood by the people during last five years and got tremendous love and affection from them.

Bittu apologises for inconvenience

Meanwhile, Ravneet Bittu has felt sorry for the inconvenience caused to residents and commuters during his road show. He said, “We had never expected that so many people will take part in the road show. In future such programmes will be held at places where no inconvenience is caused to the public, he said.

Spouse files papers as covering candidate

The Congress candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency, Ravneet Singh Bittu, filed his nomination papers with Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Pardeep Aggrawal at his office in the Mini-Secretariat here today. Bittu’s wife Anupam Kaur filed her nomination papers as the covering candidate. 

When DC refused to shake hands with MLA

The Congress MLA, Rakesh Pandey, while accompanying Bittu during filing of nomination papers, extended his hand towards DC Pardeep Aggarwal for a handshake but he politely declined to do so. Pandey insisted DC several times to at least shake hands with him but the DC with folded hands said he can not do so while sitting on the chair as Returning Officer. Meanwhile, taunting SDM Amarjit Bains while leaving the office, MLA Kuldeep Vaid said, “Chadd yaar tere naal vi ki hath milana hai, kite model code di ulanghna na ho jaye” (leave it friend, why shake hands with you too. It might be termed as violation of the model code of conduct).


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